Five weeks ago, Dreyer & Reinbold Racing was in St. Petersburg, Florida, for Round 1 of the 2020 NTT IndyCar Series.
Today, their St. Petersburg car sits in the team’s Carmel, Indiana, shop, having not turned a single lap.
With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic postponing all motorsports events for the time being, one would assume that DRR’s shop has been quiet lately.
However, while the team has been running with only three people in the shop at a time, there still has been plenty of work to do. When racing does resume, the team will be well prepared.
“We’re ready to go,” team owner Dennis Reinbold said. “We’re well funded and excited for when it does kick off, but I couldn’t tell you which events we’re going to choose to go to. But we look forward to doing those when they become available.”
While DRR originally was scheduled to run only three to four IndyCar races this season, the team still keeps busy with a variety of other projects.
“We’re doing a lot of machine work in our shop for outside vendors, things like that,” Reinbold said. “Our shop is quite big, so it’s not like we have people huddled together or anything like that. We’re taking precautions. They want to work. They want to keep building things, and we’re ready to go once it gets going.”
In addition to doing non-racing work, the team also has been preparing their rally cars and fitting their third IndyCar with the new aeroscreen. The team also has been working on a construction of a very unique vehicle.
Reinbold is building a replica of a GM Futurliner. The Futurliners were a group of custom vehicles created by General Motors between the 1930s and 1950s.
Reinbold’s GM Futurliner currently is undergoing restoration at DRR’s Carmel, IN shop. Photo: Tom Blatter/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
A photo of a restored GM Futurliner is used for reference at DRR’s shop. Photo: Tom Blatter/Dreyer & Reinbold Racing
Originally built for the 1939 New York World’s Fair, Futurliners were later utilized in GM’s “Parade of Progress”, a North American promotional tour promoting the future of cars and technology. Each Futurliner featured an opening stage area on its side to display new technology.
Reinbold’s replica will be based off a 1953 GM truck chassis. His plans for the vehicle are to use it for hospitality use at the Indy 500 and Indianapolis Colts games.
“It’s like a big limo tailgate vehicle,” Reinbold said.
While the extra time away from the track has provided DRR plenty of time to work on other projects, Reinbold said the team still does look forward to the eventual resumption of racing. In the meantime, the team plans to take things day by day.
“It’s really about just taking care of people and humanity,” Reinbold said. “We’ll get through it. It’s just the timeline we can’t predict.”